How much do INFPs daydream?

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While I can’t speak for all INFPs, the answer to this question is: a lot. I spend every waking moment where I’m not occupied with other tasks daydreaming, whether that be imagining possible scenarios inside my head, or envisioning futures in which I obtain the things I want to, a published book, a boyfriend, etc. Anything and everything, provided it isn’t graphic or perverted, is daydreamed about, from worlds beyond our ken to everyday situations. I do it on the bus, while I am walking home from the job agency, while I am in the shower, while I am cooking, and I would like nothing more than to crawl into these daydreams, and live inside them forever.

One of the problems that come with daydreaming is that you become even more dissatisfied with the way your life currently is. I know that the more I daydream, the more discontented I get, because whatever I’m daydreaming about is always a better version of the reality that I am experiencing. For example, walking home today, I imagined myself getting an email, telling me that I was to be published, and that the publishers wanted to meet me and discuss my book in person. The daydream became so real that when I snapped out of it, I half-expected to see the email in my notifications; and when I didn’t, the disappointment was so crushing I felt as if I might fold in half from the pain of it.

All in all, I do believe excessive daydreaming is unhealthy, and shouldn’t be encouraged. Instead, happiness or contentment with the way life actually or currently is leads to greater joy, because there are no expectations. But, on the other hand, as someone who daydreams a lot myself, it is very tempting to keep imagining scenarios, and never get anywhere in life in reality. In my daydreams, I am already a mother of two, with a wonderful husband, and a wonderful job, and several published books under my belt—and in reality, I am an unpublished 20 year old author, who has never dated anyone, let alone get married to someone. The contrast between the two is startling—and pathetic, if you want to view it in that light—-so instead of channeling one’s energies into daydreams, it’s better to use that same energy towards fulfilling your daydreams in real life.

For example, instead of daydreaming about the perfect moment in time, where I meet someone and our eyes meet and we connect, I could join a dating website, and actively try and find someone to partner up with. Instead of daydreaming about getting published, I could get cracking on the fourth book that I am writing. It’s a better use of one’s time, and of one’s energy, to try and bring your daydreams to fruition, instead of just wallowing in them.

So, in answer to this question, yes, INFPs do daydream a lot, but it would be better if we did less of it, and used our energies on more productive activities. While there’s nothing wrong with a bit of harmless daydreaming, when it becomes excessive, it can consume one’s life and make your current life seem boring, lacklustre and ugly in comparison. I’m going to try and channel my energies towards better activities, and I hope you do as well; here’s to greater joy, and contentment, living a life that may be far from our daydreams, but is lovely and beautiful in its own way.

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How INFPS View The Other Personality Types

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Here’s a list of how INFPs get along with every other personality type. If you’re not familiar with the Myer-Brigg’s personality test, you can take it here: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

INTJ

What a strange and peculiar creature. Fascinated by science, and logic, with unparalleled ability to insult without intending to, with the excuse that they are simply stating the “facts”, the INTJ is someone the INFP does not really understand. However, being both introverts, and intuitive, on a certain level, they can get along; they both share a need to stay by themselves for long periods, and can have insights which other people do not. However, it would be a superficial friendship at best: the INTJ is simply too logical and pragmatic.

INTP

INFPs get along rather well with INTPs. To us, INTPs are rather like us, except a little more pragmatic and logical. Like INFPs, they tend to be eccentric, and rather loner-like, and sometimes, unlike INFPs, have obvious presentation and sartorial problems. However, we tend to like the same things, and find the same things interesting—glow-in-the-dark jellyfish, anyone?—and the same types of books and films.

ENTJ

Oooh. What a masterful and beautiful creature—from afar, at least. ENTJs, for INFPs, are the epitome of the dazzling man or woman we could never obtain or date in real life, but whom we enjoy watching from afar. They are so confident, so beautiful, that it sometimes takes our breath away; but they can also be brash and intimidating, which makes us want to shrink into our shells. They are like the prince or princess on pedestal, never to be reached, and only to be watched.

ENTP

ENTPs, for INFPs, are also rather attractive. Their verbal sparring, often on intellectual or logical topics, knows no bounds, and INFPs are entertained by their wit, cleverness and the verbal wordsmiths they are. In turn, ENTPs, if they ever get a chance to read an INFP’s writing, find them rather insightful and adorable creatures, but never enough to get into a romantic relationship with them. This is because INFPs hold none of the verbal wit and excitement that ENTPs need to feel good about themselves and a relationship in their life.

INFJ

Trouble is, people who are too similar can clash, and this is sometimes what happens when INFPs and INFJs meet. We’re rather like the same person, only one is a little more organized and less scatterbrained than the other, and strangely enough, that combination can make for a relationship that doesn’t seem to work. I’ve known one other INFJ in my life, and while we did agree on nearly absolutely everything, there was no connection or affection in the relationship: in fact, it was rather awkward and on edge, simply because we felt as if we could read each other’s minds, and probably could.

INFP

Well, I know INFP isn’t exactly another type of personality, but there are other INFPs in this world, and we do tend to meet each other every now and then, and, in general, if all goes well, we tend to get along like a house on fire. Rather than feeling awkward or as if our minds are being read, we feel as though we have found a kind of friendship-soulmate. However, since we are both Feeling, feelings may be discussed a little too often in the relationship, to the point where boredom sets in. If that happens, all you have to do is remember the positives of the relationship: of being understood, having someone who always has your back, and someone who is full of the same neuroses and anxieties you are.

ENFJ

ENFJ’s are OK. Just OK. They are bold, they are extroverted, they are friendly, love to be surrounded by people and the centre of attention, and for INFPs, they can be a little too “in your face” sometimes. Just sometimes. What’s more, ENFJ’s have an annoying habit of trying to draw an INFP out of his or her shell, and make her do things she doesn’t want to do, like throw a 21st party, for example, or make a speech in front of many people, simply because they feel INFPs need to put themselves out there a little more. So, in general, they are just OK.

ENFP

ENFPs are absolutely wonderful creatures. Since they share all the same functions as us, except for introversion, they are, in essence, really rather like extroverted versions of ourselves. Instead of being closeted away inside bedrooms, however, ENFPs are out there, getting things done, putting their ideals into action, and making things happen. If they want to run a charity for their favourite cause, then it is going to happen. If they want their dream to come true, then they’re going to build it. They are brave enough to put everything on the line for their ideals, and see them through to the end, to the point where their idealistic visions exist in reality—and us INFPs, while we love them, are just a little jealous, because we tend to dream but never act.

ISTJ

INFPs and ISTJs do not tend to get along. ISTJs find INFPs to be a little too wishy-washy, and too stuck in their own dreamland, while INFPs find ISTJs irritatingly logical and pragmatic, to the point where their daydreams and ideals get trampled by them. They are not a good match, in general, and rub each other the wrong way more often than most.

ISFJ

INFPs like ISFJs. As the “defenders” in the Mye-Brigg’s personality type group, INFPs see ISFJs as people that will protect them in times of need. INFPs like to be protected; we are, after all, the children of the Myer-Briggs family. So, we kind of look up to them as an older sister or brother, sometimes in spite of their age. They are the ones who will listen to us, and then propone our ideas in front of other people, working towards causes that we believe in.

ESTJ

We admire ESTJs, little ones, but we do not befriend them. ESTJs are whirlwinds of productivity and pragmatism. They are leaders, they get things done, they are efficient, and we view them sometimes the way one might view a very efficient, highly effective and super efficacious robot. In fact, we admire them so much, we’d much rather sit back and let them do most of the work that we dislike: managing people, telling people what to do, organising events and activities, putting forward ideas for consideration. However, in terms of relationships, INFPs and ESTJs simply do not see eye-to-eye, and any bond, be it romantic or platonic, is sure to end unfavourably.

ESFJ

Like ENTJs, we sometimes admire and view ESFJs from afar. They are such warm, people-friendly, and oftentimes attractive individuals, with such a wide network of friends, that it can sometimes be intimidating just to watch them. However, ESFJs are often happy to welcome the sweet, gentle INFPs into the folds of their social circle, and while INFPs won’t get along with everyone, and will often disappear halfway through the event or party, they are grateful for the ESFJ’s kindness, warm-heartedness and friendliness.

ISTP

INFPs do not understand ISTPs. They live entirely in the world of things, of reality, and love to engage in hands-on activities, whereas we are much more concerned with the intangible, dreams, ideas and stories. However, like most other types which are very different from us, we tend to view them with a certain degree of fascination, and, yes, this can lead to romantic attraction, although ISTPs, like INFPs, do not understand us, and find us rather strange and removed from life.

ISFP

We love ISFPs! They are adventurous, creative and bold, with a certain flair that makes us want to whoop! They are often very creative artists or musicians, and can be very unique and special, in their own way, just like INFPs. However, they are a lot more bold than INFPs, and can engage in risk-taking behaviours, which is something foreign to us, and we would rather discourage rather than encourage in our ISFP friends.

ESTP

ESTPs are…nice. They very popular. Very adventurous. Very bold, and pretty, or handsome. Very charismatic. All in all, they’re a bit too “much” for us. While ESTP’s appreciate the creativity of INFPs, they often get bored of us, of our ideals and our many, many dreams and ideas, while we, over time, get tired of the high energy of the ESTP, and want to crawl away to take a nap somewhere. So, overall, a bad match, in terms of relationships, but there is something the two types can share.

ESFP

Another strange and foreign creature. They are extroverted, and always want to entertain other people, not feeling at all afraid when they are in the limelight. Us INFPs simply do not understand them, not one bit: though we do appreciate the heart and feeling they put into everything that they do, the love they have for animals and other people, and the way they are free-spirited and unique, never letting other people or society tie them down or tell them who they should be.

 

 

 

12 Life Tips For INFPs

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This post is courtesy of Louis, who wanted to read a blog post about INFP life stuff and tips. Thank you, Louis, for your suggestion, and if you would like to donate to my Patreon page, you can find it here, at http://www.patreon.com/dreamerrambling

Onto the blog post. Here is a list of 12 life tips for INFPs. While I have written quite a few lists over the years, I don’t think I’ve written one exclusively on tips for INFPs. So, here we go.

1. Carry a book around with you wherever you.

Not only is this a good idea for the average person, for an INFP, it is a must, as it means you can dive into a fantasy world wherever you go. Sounds pretty good to me.

2. Carry some lollies with you wherever you go.

Hear me out on this one. INFPs go through a lot of stress in life, whether it be a job interview or having to make an important, nerve-wracking call, and sometimes, after feeling so frazzled, you feel the need to give yourself a treat. This is where the lollies come in. Don’t chow down the whole bag—just give yourself one, because, as an INFP, you deserve it. It can be whatever kind of food you enjoy most, in an easy, accessible bag: chips, sweets, any sort of candy, you name it.

3. Try to reduce your daydreaming.

Now, I know this is a hard one, but I’ve found that it is better to daydream less about what your life could be like and spend more time in your actual life. Otherwise, you will miss most of your life as it reels past you, and, what’s more, most of the daydreams never come true—a handsome prince, riding out of the sunset, anyone?—so following this tip prevents you from suffering any disappointment.

4. Push yourself to go beyond your boundaries.

If it were up to us, we’d just spend our days at home all day long, indulging in our creative pursuits and films, movies and books. But that’s not how the real world works, and in this world, one has to work, to socialise, and put food on the table. Pushing yourself to do things, such as going shopping, or going for that job interview, will not only make you feel happier with life overall, because you feel more confident and able, but it’s a very good INFP habit to practise, as it means you will not stagnate.

5. Try to date.

Nerve-wracking as it is, INFPs are the type to yearn for a partner, so it is a good thing to go out there and join the dating scene. Whenever we are alone, or single, no matter how good the rest of our life is, some part of us feels a little lost and miserable. All of us need that one, special person in lives, and INFPs do more so than others sometimes—someone who can understand us, who wants to peel away the layers of our guarded personalities to the true treasure underneath. So, give it a try—what can you lose? My advice with dating, though, is to take it slow, be safe and never jump into things if you have a bad feeling about them. If you’re dating online, always make sure to meet in a public space.

6. Try to reduce the amount of public transport you take.

Sometimes, this isn’t possible, especially if you live far from your workplace, but it is a good idea to take less public transport, as it is something that can drain INFPs. The crammed carriages of a train, the busy commute—all of that isn’t conducive to an INFP’s happiness. So, try to walk, or even ride a bike; it’ll take a lot of the stress and anxiety that comes with commuting, and the close proximity with strangers, away.

7. Never be afraid to leave a bad situation.

This can be harder than it sounds, especially if the bad situation is a job, which you do not like. But I’m not just talking about a job you do not like here—I’m talking about a toxic situation, so, if it were a job, it would be one where you not only not like the work, but you are bullied and belittled every single day. Bad situations are absolutely psychologically soul-destroying for INFPs, and can take ages for us to recover from them, whether it be a situation where you are being bullied, or a job you loathe so much just the thought of going to work for another day makes you want to melt into a puddle of despair on the floor and never get up. Whenever a situation makes you feel like that, you know it’s time to leave it.

8. Reach out to other INFPs.

Whether in real life, or through the internet (actually, through the internet is more likely), it’s always a good idea to find other like-minded people, so if you can somehow communicate with INFPs, such as in a forum or through an email correspondence, you can find it does wonders for your mental health. As INFPs, we can understand each other on a level sometimes other people can’t, and relate to each other, help each other, and give personalised advice that can strike us to the core.

9. Depression is often common amongst INFPs, and that’s because we have a habit of mulling over things too much.

We get inside our heads, and never come out of them. One of the best ways to beat depression is to keep yourself busy, whether that’s with work, or job searching, or interviews, or friends and family, creative pursuits, etc. An INFP that has nothing to do is more likely to get depressed.

10. Have a safe haven.

This almost goes without saying, but every INFP needs their own bedroom, or couch, or a special place where they can relax and unwind. We need this because we often find our jobs and the outside world quite stressful. In fact, scratch that: the outside world and our jobs, since they are both stimulating, is extremely stressful, and if we didn’t have our own room to go back to at the end of the day, to recharge and rejuvenate, we would go mad. So, a safe haven is a must.

11. Try to be involved in your creative pursuits on a daily basis.

Sometimes, INFPs, especially if they don’t work in a creative job, neglect the creative side of themselves, and this can be a big mistake. Creativity is a natural aspect of our personality type, and when we are allowed to flourish creatively, we feel more whole as a person. Whether it’s writing, dancing, singing, drawing, painting, or even just doodling, try to incorporate it as part of your daily routine, so you always have a creative outlet.

12. Make friends who do not drain you.

You know very well the type of people who drain your energy instead of give it. They are loud, boisterous, and all they do, taking advantage of your kind, giving and calm nature, is offload all their problems onto you, or jabber about themselves all day long. Let go of these people, and make friends who are a little more staid, who listen to and care about you, and provide a kind of haven from the rest of the world instead of someone that buffets the storm that is life even further.

Look out for a Part 2!

Another Melancholy Ramble (And A Thank-You)

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I have been listen to Sufjan Stevens a lot recently, particularly his song “The Only Thing” and “Fourth of July”. There is such a melancholy air about his songs, and it makes evenings rather strange and magical. Such is the transformative power of music.

Less depressed. In case you were wondering, I am a little less depressed than I was before. I’ve been re-reading a paragraph or two of the book I sent in, and, honestly, it’s not half-bad. If it weren’t missing a huge chunk right in the middle of it, which I sent to publishers without realising its existence, the book may be half-decent.

Enough. I’ve been talking about the book I sent in to publishers far too much recently. I can’t help feel as though my life is going nowhere. As a child, I always expected life to be filled with magic. I expected—I don’t know. Something different from the life of adulthood people all over the world lead, a life spent on work, going on holidays, eating out, hanging out with family and friends, buying a house and pets. All the normal, ordinary things—well, they just don’t cut it for me. I always wanted to be a writer, to see my books published, and to daydream and dance and sing forever and ever, with a beautiful husband and living in a house that was rather like a tiny world of books and cats. Spending my days imagining things, through writing. Visiting caves filled with fireflies, drinking in the magic of the world. And yet, here I am, unemployed, with no book contract in sight, very little money, few friends, few family members, and no handsome man in sight. It’s all very disappointing, and I hope, sincerely, that I do come across as arrogant or spoilt when I say all of this.

I am not an entirely unhappy soul, but I am a disappointed one. Everyone else seems to find life satisfying as it is, but, I’ve always wanted for adventures to happen, rather like those in movies. I want to save a planet from an alien species. I want to hunt for treasure, with a band of pirates, and fall in the love with the greatest buccaneer that there is. I want to go wandering in a midnight garden, dewdrops on all the flowers, and meet my Prince Charming, underneath an apple tree. Don’t you think? I guess that’s why we have films and movies: so the magical things we wish would happen end up doing so, but only on the silver screen. I’d like to think life will work itself out one day, like a piece of crumpled paper that gets flattened. I hope, wherever you are, that your life works its kinks out, and becomes the kind of life you always hoped to have. Life is too short not to try and live the life you want to lead, even if there is risk of failure if you walk off the beaten path.

I will get published one day, I make a promise to you. Once I put it in writing, it’s bound to happen—isn’t that how these things work? I am smiling. No. I don’t know. This life is just so interesting and horrible, all at once, I can’t even begin to grasp it with words. I feel elated after listening to a song that reminds me of a period of my life, then crushingly disappointed when I read a paragraph of one of my own books, then bored at the job agency I attend everyday, sick of taking medication for my mental illness (Anxiety and Depression), and then, in the comfort and quietness of God, silently happy again. It seems that, as I’ve grown older, I’ve only become more confused.

I hope these rambles aren’t boring for you. I can just imagine someone out there reading this, someone who is like me, who grapples and struggles with these same issues, feeling as though they’ve found a kindred spirit. It’s good, I think, to post regularly, because then I become a regular, human voice, speaking to you through the screen, bringing a little interest and comfort to the world. At least, that’s how I like to think of it. All I know is, if I were ever to stumble upon rambles like these, I would find them interesting and be greatly comforted—so, who knows, maybe there are others like me, out there. I know there are. Just by reading and replying to all of your comments, I know my words have resonated with you.

Thank you for always being there for me, especially those who take the time to write comments, providing words of solace, comfort and advice, it’s truly means the world to me. When I started this blog, I had no idea it would grow into a kind of small community, of dreamers and misfits, I really didn’t. Well. What else is there to talk about? I’m just in a very quiet, melancholy sort of mood. I get the feeling that if I posted my book online, on my blog, so many people would enjoy it—but then, I would no longer be able to get it published, because it would have already been made public. I’ve written a good book this time, and I desperately hope publishers will pick it up, I really do. Here’s to another lonely evening, spent watching romantic Hallmark movies. Here’s to living, and dreaming and loving. Here’s to books. Here’s to you, for following me on this journey.

A Teardrop of A Dreamer’s Sadness

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I’ve always had the feeling that I should—I don’t know, assert my significance in some way. Not in some egotistical, or grandiose fashion: I’ve just always thought, well, one day, I’ll be a writer, because I am good at it, and have plenty of creative ideas, and, sooner or later, I will get published.

Things haven’t happened like that. Not really. I know I am only twenty years old, but it feels as though I have already lived half my lifetime, with nothing to show for it. And now, as I send out another book, for the third time, to publishers, with little hope, even though I am very proud of the novel and would certainly read the children’s book—and heck, even buy it—myself, I don’t know if anyone, out there, in the world, will find it to be any good.

As a child, I didn’t ever dream of anything except becoming a writer, and now, older, and more grown-up, I’m starting to realise how difficult it really is to get into the industry. And as the days pass by, and I get no email, saying they (meaning the publishers) are interested in my book, and, knowing that I am already halfway to forty, towards a lifetime spent unpublished and unknown, makes me sink, slowly, into the depths of depression.

It is not fame or money that I am after, but literary recognition. I want someone to read my book, and love it—and not just one person, but lots of people. I want lots of people to see my imagination, splashed across the pages of a short, sweet novel. As a writer, I predominantly dabble in children’s books—and, if there’s an industry that’s hard to get into, it’s that one.

I can’t say I’m not a little depressed, as I send another message in a bottle out to the sea, and nothing comes back, no answer, no reply. I am left stranded on my island, alone, with only the seashells and the splash of the waves for company. I don’t think, in this lifetime, I could ever be properly happy without publishing something, by an actual publisher, no matter how small, or insignificant. Even if only one thousand people read it, I would be fine: as long as it’s a book, and it’s out there, I don’t think I’d have anything to complain about. It’s not about the fame, or the money—it’s about the little girl inside of me, with a head full of dreams and fantasies, yearning for them to be seen.

I hope you are having a better week than I am. I hope you are not lonely, that you are romantically involved with someone. It’s always nice to have something like that, someone by your side, a rock, a foundation. I also hope that you are making your way towards your dreams, or perhaps have achieved them already. In this rocky life, we each stand on our own islands, waiting for the messages in bottles we send out to come back to us. Some of us stand and wait for years, just for one reply—other islands are absolutely crowded with glass bottles, each with a missive tucked inside it. And others wait, alone on their islands, until the years grow low, and the sky goes dark, and there’s nothing left, except the sharks for company.

 

Becoming A Mature INFP?—Psychotic Episode, Social Anxiety, God

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I promise I haven’ left my blog again, like last time. Instead, it’s more like something left me. The letter “t” on the keyboard of my laptop, to be precise, which decided to break yesterday, on the very afternoon I came back from work and conjured up some good blog ideas. Since the letter “t” in the world of writing is as crucial as water is to life, this put me in a very tricky situation—the urge to write, but no means to do so—until I realised, smacking myself on the forehead at my own stupidity, that until my keyboard gets fixed (hopefully it is covered by warranty, as I simply cannot afford to buy another $200 laptop), I can just write using my phone instead, even though I don’t like it and I feel it makes my writing quality poor. Which is what I am doing right now.

First up, some life updates, in case you are interested in this little INFP’s life. Well, to be frank, I’m not really little anymore. I started this blog five years ago, when I was just finishing highschool, my love for writing was just starting to blossom, and social anxiety crippled me to the core of my being. I am now in my twenties, and in the space of these five years, much has happened, much has changed. Some of it has been good. Some of it has been bad. And some of them are strange changes, peculiar and colourless as air, that have left me quiet and thoughtful.

Even though I “published” my first book on my blog exactly 9 days ago, something I started working on after I became a Christian (another change), my love for writing, while still effervescent, has been relegated to a hobby instead of a career goal. I love writing, but fiction writing, while I do enjoy reading it immensely, is not my field of talent (and arguably, I don’t have any talents, but I’m trying not to play into my low self-esteem these days). I wrote a book, that people liked, but I did not completely enjoy writing it, nor did I feel the need to repeat the process anytime soon. It’s strange. I have changed.

Yes. I have changed. No longer am I completely the shy, floundering INFP girl who desired only to subsist on stardust and dreams, and believed, with all her heart, that being able to write for a living was the single and only path to happiness and well-being in this world. Part of it has been the realisation of the limitations of my writing talents. And part of me, surprising as it is to say, even to myself, is that I have grown out of fiction writing, and matured into an adult who much prefers writing “self-help”; or non-fiction works.

I am also not shy anymore. Well, not completely shy—in fact, I have been working for the past week or so at a pharmacy, believe it or not, a job which entails greeting customers, speaking to people and stocking shelves from morning to afternoon while I wait for my other courses to start. I had to do it. I forced myself to do it. No, I am not an INFP who sold her soul for money, or who now worships capitalism in all its environmentally-damaging glory, but someone who grew up and realised she would have to find a way to feed herself in this world, keep the fridge stocked and a roof over her head, or risk not only homelessness, but her sanity and buoyancy.

And what I discovered was this: no matter how exhausted I am at the end of the workday, after so much time spent engaged in social interaction, and how I wish I could return to the days of daydream and wishes of my teenage years, some part of me—and likely a very INFP part of me that is starting to mature—actually feels a sense of satisfaction from finally being able to function in the real world. But, let’s backtrack for a moment. Just a year or two ago, I wanted to live in a car and write books, or even risk homelessness so I wouldn’t have to join the pointless drudgery of the capitalist workforce, and stuttered and could barely speak in front of strangers, so, what changed?

Two things. One: I experienced a psychotic episode, that was highly traumatic and bizarre. Two: I started to believe in God. And those two things, by the way, are not related in the slightest–people who believe in God, I assure you, seeing as there are millions of them around the world, are perfectly sane (well, most of them are, at least).

A psychotic episode? Why, whatever happened? I went a little crazy, that’s what, perhaps because of a chemical imbalance in my brain, as my psychiatrist put it. I didn’t speak of this when I first returned to my blog because I still wasn’t sure how I was going to talk about it. Basically, what happened was—and why it happened is still a complete mystery to me—I started to believe, over the course of several days, that I was an Angel, on a mission on behalf of planet Earth, along with fifty or so other individuals on the planet, to save the environment. No, I’m not speaking in metaphorical terms. For the duration of a week, this was my reality—I believed in it as much as I believed in the power of words—and I actually thought I heard the voice of planet Earth speaking to me inside my mind, telling me what to do to save the world.

Yes. I wouldn’t mind if you stopped reading my posts, or unsubscribed from me after this, because it does actually sound crazy, and this episode was severe enough to land me in hospital for a couple of days, and start taking medication for delusions. I’m off the medication now. I am, I assure you, completely sane. What happened during those weeks felt entirely like a dream. And apparently, it’s not that uncommon among young adults, particularly those who have suffered from depression or anxiety.

But after that happened, I grew up. I don’t know why, but much of my agoraphobia and social anxiety faded away after that. Unfortunately, other things faded away too, not completely, but enough to be noticeable: my passion for fiction writing, a little of my blind idealism. It was as if, in a burst of colour like rainbow, my imagination spent itself in one go after the episode, leaving me feeling horribly empty, yet also strangely lighter.

After that, I discovered God, felt His presence in the world around me, in nature—in the curious, peaceful feeling I get whenever I pray—became a Christian, rolled up my sleeves and sallied forth into the world with a feeling that there was someone out there watching over us all, even the most delicate and anxious. Five years from now, instead of an author, I want to be working as a nurse, preferably in a mental health hospital, dispensing medications and helping people overcome themselves and their own minds with my words and my heart.

Am I still an INFP? Yes. Everyday, out in the real world, I have to put on a mask, and I’ve become remarkably competent at it. INFPs do have quite a bit of acting skills up their sleeves, often honed out of necessity, and while I am not perfect at pretending to be tough-skinned like everyone else, I am passable. I need to be, in order to survive in this world. Do I want to starve, or become homeless? No. For an INFP to mature in this world, they do, unfortunately, have to change a little, or at the very least adapt. Even quiet artistic jobs like being an author or an artist have a remarkable amount of social activities tagged onto it.

I will never stop writing, and never stop daydreaming. However, I have discovered other things I like. Caring not just for animals, but people, most of whom are very nice. I like stacking shelves. I like using the cash register. I like all the different pills and medicines out there, and the diseases or conditions they correspond to. I like hospitals—they have a curiously calming effect on me. And so far, I like the idea of being a nurse. Out in the real world, given time, I know I will be able to stand on my own two feet.

But behind closed doors, when the mask falls away, I am just the same as I ever was. I still liking drinking fruit juices and eating Haribo fizzy cola gummy sweets. I still like books, very much, and films, especially romantic ones. I am still a loner, still transfixed by the beauty of the world, the universe, still someone who picks up a pen or logs onto her laptop (or in this case phone) and spills out her thoughts in a stream of flowing words. And at my core, after all the growing up I’ve done, all the steps I’m starting to take to ensure I won’t starve or be homeless, and will spend my days doing some good in the world, I am deeply disappointed with life, and deeply afraid that this is all it has to offer—a job, hobbies, a house, cars, holidays, cats, books.

Because after everything I’ve been through, I still want more, and one of the reasons I became a Christian is because God represents that “more” that I am lacking in the real, boring mundane world, and which I believe I will never be able to attain. Few people understand me when I say this, or try to comfort me, but I am at a point in my life where I honestly do not believe I will ever experience that “whirlwind” romance I’ve always dreamed about. In fact, I cannot, no matter how hard I try, even imagine a man being interested in me, which is one my deepest, darkest fears and wounds. I cannot imagine having a family, children, a husband, and even if I did, what then? Everything becomes ordinary and normal-feeling eventually; even the most beautiful song can become annoying after listening to it on repeat for months on end. I find no happiness in material goods, and to me, holidays are just explorations of other parts of the world, with the same sky, the same rocks, houses, society, paths, animals, grass, trees and concrete, that eventually become nothing more than photographs and faded memories.

The truth is, what I want is not just hard to attain—it is impossible. What I truly want, as an INFP, is for fantasy to become reality. I want for there to be floating islands, celestial spirits, rocks that hum and murmur with secret forces, skies that suddenly turn purple, to grow wings, to be pressed between the pages of a book as a character in a whirlwind romance or a fantasy quest for all eternity. While I have grown up, and adapted, and even grown to like some parts of the real world, and have always lived many parts of the natural world—aren’t blood and flowers fascinating?—but some part of me, as an INFP, deep down, will always stay the same, like a tiny iridescent pearl tucked inside a shell, quietly wistful, quietly disappointed, burning with a slow, strange and awful sadness.

Tomorrow, I will put on a smile, laugh and talk, and stack shelves. I will inspect the different medicines, ointments and creams, and find their uses to be fascinating. I will eat some of my favourite foods, which I can now afford to buy occasionally, watch films, read books, write and listen to music. I will be fine. I will feel satisfied. Competent. Maybe even happy. But at night, when the lights are turned off, and I’m lying by myself in bed in the darkness, thinking and wondering, as always, the only way for me to cope with reality is to daydream or fall asleep. And I’m starting to think that is the way it will always be, until the day I am no longer in this world, because I wish for true magic and the impossible, for fairies and stardust, and always will.

How To Love Yourself When You Are An Outsider

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The clamor for good self-esteem has become almost cliché, an excuse for parading out a barrage of aphorisms: Love Yourself For Who You Are, Accept Yourself, Love Yourself and Others Shall Love You, Woman.

Whether that means loving your skin, or eyes, despite the White Beauty ideals seen on magazines and television; or flaunting those curves or hips rather than hiding them, it is part of a new wave of Self-Love scouring across society.

And sure, I can relate.

Being Asian myself, and very thin to boot (throughout school, I was teased mercilessly for my stick-thin wrists, and a girl once, upon raking her eyes over my spindly body in a bathing suit during swim class before puberty hit, pronounced me a “monkey” – skinny-shaming is just as debilitating as fat-shaming), I have had to deal with self-confidence issues related to these two traits, just like people who are a little on the plump side, people with disabilities, any physical signifier that classifies them as “Ugly” or “Other”.

But so much of the recent Self-Love onslaught focuses on appearances, particularly the appearances of women. And while that is all good and important, humans being highly visual creatures, very little attention to paid to the confidence issues one has to deal with by having a particular personality.

Personality is the true determining factor of your self-confidence, I think, at least in one’s younger years. It is much easier to feel happy with yourself when others seek out your company, like to talk with you; when you feel loved, approved of, accepted – and when peer acceptance is not present, low self-esteem is often, unfortunately, a natural consequence.

For instance, for many years I was made to feel defective for being introverted, so introspective that I barely paid any attention to the real world reeling by before my eyes. In the media, in modern literature, a new breed of the ideal woman was sprouting forth to smash traditional gender barriers: independent and bold and confident – in other words, extroverted. Though this “New Woman” allowed for greater opportunities among the female populace, at least in Western countries, doing so only replaced a previous admittedly debilitating standard for women with another – less constraining, yes, but a new standard to measure oneself up against, nonetheless.

Being Asian, in this case, actually made matters worse, as there is this absolutely nonsensical stereotype that all Asian women (I do hate using racial monikers; we’re individuals, not groups; people do not think all, say, brunettes or Caucasian men possess the same personality type, so why the generalizations?) are shy and submissive. As an INFP, a personality type which naturally, even among males, is conflict-averse, withdrawn, dreamy and, yes, has a tendency to be quiet and shy and burrowed in a corner with a book, I fit into this stereotype perfectly.

But, racial stereotypes aside, it is a fact that introverts, or any outsiders, have greater difficulty with self-esteem than their extroverted or more accepted counterparts. People find “confidence” (Read: Extroverted) beautiful, they find a “sense of humor” (Read: Usually Gregarious) attractive; and those who are shy, reserved, slightly weird, are overlooked or disliked, dubbed sometimes, infuriatingly, as possessing no personality at all.

It is hard, to learn to love yourself, when not only do people not seem to like you, they do not even see you.

How can you love something that does not exist?

On top of being shy, introspective, and skinny as a rake, I also had Asperger’s, suffered from social anxiety, and, lo and behold, was a creative thinker and writer – and we all know how solitary and odd writers or original thinkers have a habit of feeling in mainstream society, probably accounting for their general recluse lifestyles throughout history. This is not me complaining (Oh, Delia, my dear, I had such a hard time of it, you can’t possibly imagine!); all I am doing is trying to point out the various contributing factors, along with living in a low-income household that could not afford items such as new clothing more than every few years (“daggy” clothes are not great for popularity), that led me to have such low self-esteem for years, and years. Long, long suffering years.

Oh, actually, I am garnering for a little sympathy here, but it comes from a good place: perhaps some of you out there can relate, to any of this, and will feel less alone for it.

The bullying from my peers, ranging from abuse to exclusion, the days spent hidden in the back of the library, the days spent watching television showcasing people who looked nothing like me, a lack of supportive friends, not looking right, acting right – all this, for an excruciatingly sensitive and aware child, and later teenager, added up. I did not like myself – no, I loathed myself.

As if that wasn’t enough, once the Self-Love movement took off, self-help books flying off the shelves, people told me I just had to realise I was “worthy”.

Yes, indeed; it is easy to feel worthy without the particular history I had, without the particular brain and psychology, the particular body, skin, experiences; it is easy for you to say that, when you are talkative and loved and have never spent time alone in the bathrooms, imagining yourself being flushed down the toilet in a gurgling swirl of oblivion; it is easy for you to say that, when you are not slightly neurologically different from others, when you do not feel like an Outsider, when you are not so sensitive each day is a tiny battle, each night a time to cry, and bandage your accumulated wounds.

It is easy to say that, when you are Extroverted, or Straight, or a Non-Minority, or Well-Liked, or Neurotypical, or Male (though this is unfair, men, on average, tend to suffer from fewer self-esteem problems than Women), or Non-HSP, or Non-INFP, or Well-Off and can Fit In Happily.

(Note: I do not mean to say that Extroverted, Straight, Caucasian, Well-Liked, Neurotypical, Wealthy or Male individuals do not have any problems: I am simply trying to make a point that when you are an Insider, it is rather presumptuous to dole out voice to an Outsider)

It is easy for you to say that I simply must feel “worthy”, when everything and everyone your life has affirmed that, and everything in mine has pointed to the contrary.

Frankly, just being an INFP and Highly Sensitive, especially if you are male, is enough to lower your self-confidence drastically, let alone the extra baggage I dragged around. What’s worse, being sensitive dreamers, we have a tendency to blame ourselves whenever anything goes wrong.

People, extroverted individuals surrounded by friends, told me, I should tell myself I was “worthy”. They were speaking from a good place; they just wanted to help. But when I was unsuccessful at raising my self-confidence that way, I believed there was something wrong with me. I grew ashamed of my lack of self-esteem, which only fueled the self-hatred.

I was a big, fat Not.

Not curvy enough. Not talkative enough. Not outspoken enough. Not friendly enough. Not normal enough. Not realistic enough. Not pretty enough. Not. Not. Not. Not. Not. Not.

Also, I was a big, fat Too.

Too weird. Too quiet. Too shy. Too strange. Too sensitive. Too poor. Too androgynous. Too isolated. Too skinny. Reads Too much. Thinks Too much. Head Too stuck in the clouds.

Above all, what drove the pain deeper, and still stabs me now and then today, was my unbearable loneliness, for I had no friends – and loneliness, as you may well know, only breeds further insecurity. A young female, or male, lonely and misunderstood, is bound to have some problems loving themselves without either a dose of wisdom or intervention.

In my case, the intervention was internal. And the recovery slow.

Yes, I did realise I was fine, just the way I was; that many writers, throughout history, had been considered eccentric, reclusive, shy, and many even had Asperger’s – so I was not alone, really; and perhaps, if I was not the way I was, I would not have my creativity, or interest in writing, or my imagination. That being shy daydreamer does not make me submissive woman; I have my own inner strength, only it is expressed differently. That the negative opinions of other people, though they hurt when expressed (“Shit! Look at your wrist: Are you anorexic?” “You’re too, um, quiet”) are less important than how I think about myself.

But the turning point, for me, was the realisation that, in the end, no-one really cares whether you are strange or different or shy, as everyone is too focused on themselves, and that everyone, even the most privileged, like all humans, go through their share of suffering. Sure, you may suffer more, you may feel lonely more frequently – but is that so bad a price to pay, for your unique gifts of sensitivity, compassion, creativity, perspective etc.? You may be disadvantaged in some respects, but blessed in others. Everyone is good at something; everyone has a spark, deep within them.

It is true, what they say: self-acceptance does come from the inside; but you will not find it by repeating mantras to yourself (I am worthy, I am worthy, please let me feel worthy…), or pretending you like being an outcast, or wearing a mask of superiority (Those unoriginal commoners!).

Instead, it comes from having a realistic outlook – no-one really cares that much about you, so you might as well care for you – and feeling compassion for all human beings. Even those who possess all the traits society accepts, they, just like you, have their moments of awkwardness, isolation, their own internal conflicts and problems.

We are all outcasts, deep in our hearts, only some people are better at hiding it. By the same token, we are all beautiful, in our unique and wonderful ways, and even if other people do not see or affirm it, you must. Hard as it may be to possess a trait that deviates from the norm, you can use it to your advantage and, if not like, at least accept your differences, in spite of the pain, in spite of the suffering.

Loving yourself, as an outsider, is not about never feeling uncomfortable or out of place among other people; that will never go away. Instead, it is about feeling Acceptance and Compassion: For The People Around You, For Others, and, most of all, For Yourself.

Things That Make INFPs Gloomy

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A gloomy INFP is never a good thing. We sit around, in silence, our thoughts coloured by darkness, and nothing or no-one can drag us out of it. Frankly, it usually lasts for a minute or so, because the world is still full of marvellous and wonderful things, like books and films. For the sake of this list, I will exclude things like world disasters and animal cruelty, big things which are impossible to fix at the moment, and are unlikely to discontinue, simply because they are too obvious, and instead concentrate on everyday matters that are likely to, well, make an INFP rather glum.

1. Unimaginative people.
If you utter the words “Imagine if” and get someone who replies, “But that’s impossible,” then, my friends, you have met an unimaginative person, and there is no-one better to put a damper on an INFP’s day.

2. Bad food.
INFPs are very, very sensitive people, not just psychologically, but also physically, and if we are asked to eat something that doesn’t taste nice to us, it will make us very miserable, and most likely throw up (for instance, I don’t like celery, and nor do I like eating “old food”, like leftovers that are still edible but have gotten all soft and mixed together).

3. People who do not like cats, or find dogs are better.
Because they are wrong, and because cats are wonderful. Is there anything left to say?

4. Sunny weather.
This might seem strange to some people, but INFPs love everything grand and mysterious: which means rainy or cloudy weather is ideal. Since we are sensitive, sunny weather, especially if it is hot, is more likely to give us a headache than anything else.

5. Busy places. Including roads.
Busy streets, busy shopping centres, busy roads, busy festivals: INFPs do NOT like these sorts of places, and, unless they really need to go to them (and sometimes, you do; there is no choice), then we must grit our teeth and bear it, hoping perhaps the merchandise on display or the company we have will make up for it. Busy places just make us feel overwhelmed; we’d much rather stay at home, with a good book.

6. Bad energy.
An angry commuter that pushes you aside; some racist person who yells an expletive as they step off the bus: these sorts of things, while uncommon in civilised society, do still happen, and when they do, the negativity energy that radiates off these people is enough to make an INFP ill. INFPs will need to go home, and recover for a very, very long time.

7. Loud, obnoxious friends.
Sooner or later, an INFP will attract one of these people: someone who is completely self-centred, and always wants to talk about themselves, be it their own problems, their own looks, their dating life, their career, their work. INFPs become a dumping ground for all their problems, and are too shy to speak up or break off the relationship. Meeting up with these friends, while we may be smiling on the outside, more often than not makes us gloomy on the inside.

8. Not indulging in our creative passions.
Most INFPs are creative, and like to read, write or draw, or sing, or dance, or anything which involves an ounce of creativity, and if we are kept away from these activities for too long, we become gloomy and depressed, and feel as if the light has gone out of us.

9. When life stops being silly, strange and wonderful.
INFPs like to live in a neverending wonderland, where perhaps, just around the corner, we will meet our Prince Charming or Damsel in Distress, or step into a world where flowers talk and chess pieces show us the way. If we ever encounter something sobering enough to snap us out of this fairytale land we inhabit, then we become very withdrawn, and bored. Very, very gloomy.

 

Well, that’s it from me, folks. Let me know in the comments if there are any more you would like to add, and I wish you all a very un-gloomy next week.

Why Are INFPs Depressed?

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A lot of the time, we do not feel “okay”. No. “Okay” is a state other people experience. As creatures who wish and yearn for the perfect, idyllic life, rarely are INFPs okay, and we are, instead, often extremely unhappy, in a world where our life never lives up to its ideals. We are depressed. We are loners. We are people full of imaginative fantasies which never come true, and never come right when we try to put it down on paper. To put it simply, we are often not very happy people.

That’s the truth. You wish to sugarcoat it, saying INFPs can find beauty whenever they lay their eyes upon nature, or perhaps some INFPs get to lead their perfect life, but it doesn’t change the fact that most INFPs live their lives in a half-depressed, half-morose state. I know I’m not speaking for all INFPs here, but part of feeling as though we do not fit in, that we are stuck in our daydreams which our realities can never live up to, and feeling as though we are always inadequate and “not enough” makes for a very depressed life.

And other people don’t get it. They seem perfectly satisfied with their lives. They study, they got to work, they get married, they have children, whereas, we, INFPs, struggle with the barest minimum sometimes: getting up in the morning without feeling somewhat miserable. Even the thought of being in a job we like feels impossible, let alone getting married and having children.

It’s as if we live in some miserable, alternate reality, where everything is quite terrible and half-made, while everyone else lives in the real, proper world, where they have orderly lives, filled with work, and children, and friends, and visiting people, and outings. No. INFPs, since we often spend a great deal of time alone, immerse in books and movies, or in creative pursuits, lost inside the rabbit-holes of our own minds, wishing for a day when the sun breaks through the clouds and this entire world, this entire life, somehow turns itself upside-down and feels right, feels true.

They really don’t get it. If you ask a normal person for advice, they steer you towards psychologists, or tell you to just “get over it”, or, worst of all, act as if it is a burden, saying, “oh no, you’re depressed, again? What is it this time?” Well, it might be the fact that there are so many INFPs writers and artists whose dreams of writing and publication are unfulfilled. It might be that the man or woman we always imagined we would bump into one day has never arrived—in fact, every single person you have ever seen or met does not live up to your expectations of that wonderful human being, who will waltz into your life and make everything right. It might be that this is a cruel, evil world, sometimes, and sometimes, we don’t know how to deal with it, and just want to hide away. It might be that most people are so selfish, cold and impersonal out there in the world, and it’s not the kind of environment INFPs like to exist in. It might also be that we are constantly surrounded by people trying to talk sense into our heads, because we are by nature very illogical, and our thoughts can be rather strange. So, why am I depressed?

Because I am an INFP. And being depressed is who we are. And, as far as I can tell, there is nothing under the sun that can fix a sensitive, lonely and dissatisfied soul, short of a miracle. So, if there is any advice I can give you, dear depressed person, it is that you are not alone, and that there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of other INFPs out there, scattered all over the globe, feeling exactly the way you do. And that, unfortunately, is the only comfort I can give.

Get INFP Advice, Blog posts and Skype Conversations From Me

 

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Click HERE to become a patron. Or this link: http://www.patreon.com/dreamerrambling. Thank you!

So, recently, I decided to build a Patreon page. It is a kind of platform where people can become your “patron”, giving you a couple of dollars every month, in return for certain “rewards”. So far, my rewards are getting to talk to me through Skype (nervous about this!), writing a blog post on a topic of your choice, getting the chance to get an email filled with advice about life in general and being an INFP, and getting blog posts early, sent straight to your email.

I decided it was preferable to selling a service. The layout was fun, and I had an enjoyable time coming up with names for the different “types” of dreamers. Either way, it doesn’t matter whether this kicks off or not; I’ll always be here, writing blog posts for you.

Thank you, in advance, if you do decide to become a patron. I hope you know that you are supporting someone who has been behind all the words on this blog all this time, and wants to become a writer someday, and is always diligently writing, whenever she isn’t daydreaming.

Many thanks.